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Smartphone market grows by 39% in Q4

by Scott Bicheno on 4 February 2010, 11:13

Tags: IDC

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Acceleration

Market researchers like IDC have had a difficult time trying to establish product categories over the past couple of years, as mini-notebooks, MIDs, smartphones and tablets have all jostled for position as ‘converged devices', residing somewhere between the traditional mobile phone and the PC.

For the time being it is defining a converged device as a smartphone, saying "mobile phones that combine voice communications capabilities with pen or keypad handheld data features are tracked within the converged devices category." Accordingly it is releasing figures specific to this category as a sub-set of its mobile phone research.

In Q4 of 2009, 54.5 million smartphones were shipped, representing 39 percent more than the 39.2 million shipped in Q4 2008. The rate of smartphone sales accelerated towards the end of the year, as full-year figures show more modest growth of 15.1 percent. The share of all mobile phone sales accounted for by smartphones grew from 12.7 percent in 2008 to 15.4 percent in 2009.

"Four of the top five vendors established new shipment records for a single quarter, indicating strong demand in the market," said Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst at IDC. "Increasingly, mobile phone users are seeking greater utility from their devices beyond telephony and messaging, and converged mobile devices fulfil that need.

"To help address demand, carriers took advantage of lower prices on many older devices, ordering additional units and, in turn, offering reduced prices to end users. It was the perfect set of conditions to push shipments to a record level."

Looking at the vendor tables below, the most interesting things is that Motorola, which isn't in the top five for the year, jumped to number four for Q4. It launched a few Android handsets towards the end of last year and it's clearly selling a few. HTC and Samsung will be looking to reverse that trend this year.

Top Five Converged Mobile Device Vendors, Shipments, and Market Share, Q4 2009 (Units in Millions)

Vendor

4Q09 Unit

Shipments

4Q09 Market Share

4Q08 Unit

Shipments

4Q08 Market Share

4Q09/4Q08

Growth

1. Nokia

20.8

38.2%

15.1

38.5%

37.7%

2. Research In Motion

10.7

19.6%

7.6

19.4%

40.8%

3. Apple

8.7

16.0%

4.4

11.2%

97.7%

4. Motorola

2.5

4.6%

1.6

4.1%

56.3%

5. HTC

2.4

4.4%

2.2

5.6%

9.1%

Others

9.4

17.2%

8.3

21.2%

13.3%

Total

54.5

100.0%

39.2

100.0%

39.0%



Top Five Converged Mobile Device Vendors, Shipments, and Market Share, 2009 (Units in Millions)

Vendor

2009 Unit

Shipments

2009 Market Share

2008 Unit

Shipments

2008 Market Share

2009/2008 Change

1. Nokia

67.7

38.9%

60.5

40.0%

11.9%

2. Research In Motion

34.5

19.8%

23.6

15.6%

46.2%

3. Apple

25.1

14.4%

13.8

9.1%

81.9%

4. HTC

8.1

4.6%

7.5

5.0%

8.0%

5. Samsung

5.7

3.3%

5.4

3.6%

5.6%

Others

33.1

19.0%

40.6

26.8%

-18.5%

Total

174.2

100.0%

151.4

100.0%

15.1%

Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, February 4, 2010

Note: Vendor shipments are branded shipments and exclude OEM sales for all vendors.

 



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